Author Topic: Coin theft, please help  (Read 8563 times)

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Offline a3v1

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Re: Coin theft, please help
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2011, 01:56:17 PM »
A coin dealer I know wraps everything sent in aluminium household foil thus making the items undetectable by x-raying the letter. Maybe worth trying ?
Regards,
a3v1
Over half a century of experience as a coin collector.
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Money is like body fat: If there's too much of it, it always is in the wrong places.

Offline a3v1

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Re: Coin theft, please help
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2011, 02:10:39 PM »
I've been advised this too in the past. But be very careful - when customs cannot detect the contents, they are more likely to open the letter/parcel for security reasons. You could do the same with Carbon paper too. But then one risks every letter being opened.
But, luckily, most customs people are no thieves ...
Regards,
a3v1
Over half a century of experience as a coin collector.
-------------
Money is like body fat: If there's too much of it, it always is in the wrong places.

Offline Bimat

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Coin theft, please help
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2011, 02:12:12 PM »
A coin dealer I know wraps everything sent in aluminium household foil thus making the items undetectable by x-raying the letter. Maybe worth trying ?
I do that with each and every letter I send, and it works very well everywhere; except USA. The moment US officials see something undetectable, they open the letter, unwrap each and every coin to see if there's any bomb/terrorist inside ;D and guess what..wrap all the coins again and forward the letter for delivery! :o No pilfering, no scratching, nothing.

Things to learn from Americans. 8)

Aditya
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.

Offline The Oracle

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Re: Coin theft, please help
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2011, 02:18:52 PM »
I've been advised this too in the past. But be very careful - when customs cannot detect the contents, they are more likely to open the letter/parcel for security reasons. You could do the same with Carbon paper too. But then one risks every letter being opened.

also its called smuggling.  if you try this at sahar airport on your way back from europe you will make headlines for all the wrong reasons just like some celebs and few others who have been caught for duty evasion and booked under a few sections

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Coin theft, please help
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2011, 03:49:59 PM »
Quite apart from the legal issues, there is a technical issue here. If Oracle and others are correct, the system as it is gives comfort to thieves and threatens collectors.

Actually, that is more than a technical issue. One of my largest interests as an economist is (no, coins come second :)) the question "what makes developing countries develop". I'll spare you a long treatise and mention only that corruption is a very negative element for development. Some methods of corruption are easy to spot. If someone hands money to a politician for a "favour", that is clearly corruption. Other things are more difficult. If a politician offers a ride in his private jet to a journalist because he is going that way anyway, is that corruption or just a way to get a captive audience?

The upshot is that corruption is often defined by the result, rather than the action. If the journalist feels obliged to write a positive article about the politician if he accepts the ride, it is corruption to offer and to accept, if the journalist feels under no obligation, that very same action is OK. Pretty murky, but the best you'll get.

Note that this has nothing to do with the law. Sometimes, the law is silent and you should do what is right. Sometimes, the law regulates and you should, wherever possible, act in accordance with the intention, rather than the letter of the law. Sometimes the law is an ass. When it is, it undermines respect for the law and thereby hinders development.

Applying that to this situation, this means that by not looking into theft, the system protects thieves and by threatening collectors, the system shifts the cost (theft) on collectors. I will leave it to each of you to work out the moral implications of this train of thought.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline The Oracle

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Re: Coin theft, please help
« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2011, 03:55:14 PM »
Oh you oracle ! Just leave us be with your legal technicalities . Can't you see that I want to live on the wild side and then crib later ;D

living on the wild side and cribbing later thats your definition of smuggling?  ;D 

its still not too late to change your handle to robin hood  ;D

Offline The Oracle

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Re: Coin theft, please help
« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2011, 04:09:01 PM »
Quite apart from the legal issues, there is a technical issue here. If Oracle and others are correct, the system as it is gives comfort to thieves and threatens collectors.

Actually, that is more than a technical issue. One of my largest interests as an economist is (no, coins come second :)) the question "what makes developing countries develop". I'll spare you a long treatise and mention only that corruption is a very negative element for development. Some methods of corruption are easy to spot. If someone hands money to a politician for a "favour", that is clearly corruption. Other things are more difficult. If a politician offers a ride in his private jet to a journalist because he is going that way anyway, is that corruption or just a way to get a captive audience?

The upshot is that corruption is often defined by the result, rather than the action. If the journalist feels obliged to write a positive article about the politician if he accepts the ride, it is corruption to offer and to accept, if the journalist feels under no obligation, that very same action is OK. Pretty murky, but the best you'll get.

Note that this has nothing to do with the law. Sometimes, the law is silent and you should do what is right. Sometimes, the law regulates and you should, wherever possible, act in accordance with the intention, rather than the letter of the law. Sometimes the law is an ass. When it is, it undermines respect for the law and thereby hinders development.

Applying that to this situation, this means that by not looking into theft, the system protects thieves and by threatening collectors, the system shifts the cost (theft) on collectors. I will leave it to each of you to work out the moral implications of this train of thought.

Peter

Peter,

some would argue that some are actually thieving from the government by trying to smuggle goods in and once they are on the wrong side of the law they lose their right to protest.

Look at this way can one file a complaint with the police for stolen goods if they are in turn stolen from the thief?

In this case if the packet had come in declared for full value with the real contents described accurately on the outside fully insured.  they would have passed with the duties levied or returned back to you as prohibited goods. 

When someone tries to sneak something in it in itself becomes an act of corruption against the government of india.

Also corruption is a universal phenomenon and not restricted to India and Indians or developing countries it is also very prevalent in the west hidden under the so called blanket of development. 

If the system was really perfect it would not only go after the guys who stole the coins it would also make an example out of the people who were trying to wrongfully sneak this in.  And a lot of celebs who thought they were above the law are finding this out right now much to their chargin.

Just my 2 cents.


Offline Figleaf

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Re: Coin theft, please help
« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2011, 04:46:53 PM »
Two wrongs do not make one right, Oracle.

I studied law long enough to have some law books around here. I was deformed later by being a lobbyist, defined as someone who doesn't take the law as a given. In my basic law books, there is a discussion on what the law is in the first chapter. It says more or less that the law is a system of rules that reflect the values of society. It goes on immediately to warn that society must support the law, or it becomes a dead letter. A law that is not respected, even if it is just about wearing helmets on motorcycles, undermines respect for the law. The answer may be better enforcement, but that can become a knee-jerk reaction. The alternative is to do away with laws that are not supported by the population at large. It is an alternative that is not considered enough.

To get that point sharp, what about a law making a president for life? How about the completely legal election of Adolf Hitler? Or what about the Italian laws aimed at protecting Berlusconi from prosecution? Some laws are just immoral. These are of course clear examples, but the more you get into details, the murkier the issue gets. How about a law that puts the death penalty on changing your religion? How about a law that forbids alcohol, provoking violent criminality and smuggling instead? What if laws give women a secondary status? What if a system of licenses stifles the country's economy and engenders widespread corruption? What if a set of laws effectively prevents collecting foreign coins?

I am not judging or preaching and I am supporting your point that corruption can be found in all countries in the world. I am just warning you against a too principled stand of "the-law-is-the-law". Again, what matters is the outcome, not the action. That is not as straightforward as "the-law-is-the-law", but it is better for development.

Peter
« Last Edit: June 15, 2011, 05:13:15 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Coin theft, please help
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2011, 05:11:39 PM »
Secondary thought. I am no expert on Indian law, but you can bet there is no requirement to pay any kind of tax on current coins or banknotes. If there were, Indian banks would be screaming their heads off and every tourist would become a smuggler. The package contained only current coins.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Bimat

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Coin theft, please help
« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2011, 05:41:14 PM »
My letter went through customs' checking and they passed it on without charging any custom duty. That implies that they did not find anything objectionable in it. And if there was anything objectionable, they could have easily seized it. It did not happen. They stole them. That is disgusting.

And let me tell you: I have paid custom duty a couple of times for coins..and both the times, coins weren't of any high value (no silver or gold, just normal base metal coins)..

Aditya

It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.

Offline Bimat

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Coin theft, please help
« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2011, 05:45:46 PM »
And if it's illegal to send coins by post, how do Indian mints dispatch their unc/proof sets? Definitely by speed post/private courier, right? So aren't they violating the rules? They are just bending the rules as they want..

Aditya
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.

Offline Abhay

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Re: Coin theft, please help
« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2011, 05:53:05 PM »
Dear Aditya,
In all probability, the letter posted by Peter did not have a tracking number. I have received many letters from overseas seller. I have noted that if the letter can be tracked online, the contents are rarely stolen. But if the letter is without tracking number (or even if it has tracking number, but if it cannot be tracked online), there are chances that the contents of the letter will be stolen by the postman. It happens after the letter has been cleared by the customs.

I lost 3 medals about 2 years ago, which were sent from England. the packet had a group of 5 medals, 3 copper and 2 Cupro-nickle. I received the 3 copper medals, but the 2 Cupro-nickle were stolen, thinking that they were silver medals. Thi particular letter had a tracking number. When I made the formal complaint, I received the replies from Mumbai Foreign post office, claiming that they had dispatched the letter to the Bhopal RMS (Railway Mail Service) alongwith the Bag number. Bhopal RMS, in turn, again gave the details of the shipment from Bhopal to GWALIOR with all the details. But no one said that how and where the medals were stolen. Finally, the case was closed, with a remark that I had received the letter, with the Signature mentioning that Received in Good Condition.

Lessons to Learn:

1. Avoid getting any metallic objects like Coins and Medals by Post in India.
2. But if you still want to get the coins/medals by Post, inform the postoffice before hand that you will prefer to take OPEN DELIVERY.
3. For this, you will have to give the request in writing to the Post office, before the arrival of the letter, giving full details like Tracking Number, country of origin, senders name and address.
4. On receipt of the letter in the post office, you will be given an intimation for the receipt by the Post Ofice.
5. You will have to personally collect the letter from the post office, after opening the letter in front of the Post Master.
6. Whenever I have adopted this procedure, I have never lost any coins/medals in the post.
7. It is no use making any complaint to Post Office. You will never get the outcome.

Abhay
INVESTING IN YESTERDAY

Offline Bimat

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Coin theft, please help
« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2011, 05:55:44 PM »
I can think of a solution (may not work always): Attach a custom declaration form (CN 22 form) to the letter (compulsory for USA, Portugal, Germany, Italy, UK) and declare the value of contents below $20. I have received some letters which clearly mentioned that coins are inside and they are worth $XYZ. Didn't face any problems at that time..But if someone has decided to do some mischief

AndyG always mentions the contents of the letter as 'Plumbing Spares'. ;D That's the best description I've ever seen! :D

Aditya
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Coin theft, please help
« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2011, 06:00:03 PM »
Quite so, Engipress. The shipment had a tracking number (being registered), but could not be followed online. There is no way around that for me.

I also share your pessimism about the post office, whether Dutch or Indian or any other nationality. I do have faith in our little community, though. We have several members in Mumbai and these must not be everyday coins.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Bimat

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Coin theft, please help
« Reply #29 on: June 15, 2011, 06:02:43 PM »
In all probability, the letter posted by Peter did not have a tracking number. I have received many letters from overseas seller. I have noted that if the letter can be tracked online, the contents are rarely stolen. But if the letter is without tracking number (or even if it has tracking number, but if it cannot be tracked online), there are chances that the contents of the letter will be stolen by the postman. It happens after the letter has been cleared by the customs.
Peter's letter did have a tracking code and I can still track it on India post's website. I have sent a mail to TNT asking the procedure to handle overseas letters and what do they do if letter is received in damaged condition. No reply yet. :( I'm also thinking of sending a mail to custom officials regarding the issue however I am not sure if they will really bother to answer.

Aditya
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.